Four key takeaways from the Australian Community Trends Report

Wednesday, August 02, 2017

The industry that does the most to support and develop our communities is the not-for-profit sector. This is recognised by Australians and practically lived out by the four in five adults who give financially to such organisations and the one in four who give at least once a month. However, McCrindle’s data on the sector shows that there is a long-term engagement challenge, with Australians twice as likely to make a one-off donation than a regular one, and volunteers most likely to participate in a stand-alone event rather than make an ongoing contribution.

Amidst the message saturation, digital disruption, generational change and increasingly complex lives, communicating and connecting with donors requires a more sophisticated strategy than what worked in the past.

Research Methodology

This report was compiled through findings received from a national survey, focus groups conducted in Sydney and Melbourne and interviews with expert leaders in the not-for-profit sector.

The key takeaways for charitable organisations are outlined below

1. Multi-tiered levels of engagement 

There is a desire from Australians to be involved in charities, however increasingly this is to be on their own terms. Charitable givers do not want to be locked into long-term contracts, but desire flexibility in donation amounts and involvement. Older generations suggest they are  time-poor, however younger generations state they don’t have as much money to give yet still want to be involved.

2. Community building 

Particularly in the younger generations there is a desire to be part of a community that brings about social change. They want to be involved in something bigger than themselves with the knowledge that together they can make a difference. This gathering of community is not just in the online space but in the physical space as well and often achieved through events that bring people together.

3. Effective communication of results 

Donors state that they want to see the results of where their investment is going. They want to know how has it practically helped people in need. When participants they know their donation is being effective and making a material difference, there is a desire to continue engaging with the charity.

4. Create engaging and fun experiences 

Supporters, particularly in the younger generation, desire to be involved in experiences with charitable organisations. Rather than simply givingtheir money and movingon they want to feel some level of partnership with the cause. Their desire is for the donation experience to be convenient, meaningful and fun.

The Report

For more insights and to download your free copy of the 88-page 2016 Australian Communities Trends Report, please visit

These insights alongside fresh 2017 research will be presented at The Australian Communities Forum in September 2017. Tickets are available here

Understanding Generation Y Globally and Locally

Monday, February 20, 2017

Generation Pessimism

We think of the younger generations having youthful idealism and optimism yet the 2017 Global Millennial Study by Deloitte shows that the 20’s and early 30-somethings are not feeling optimistic. Just 1 in 4 believes the year ahead will see an improvement politically and again a minority- only 1 in 3 believe we will see an uptick economically.

Where’s our share?

While it is little surprise that their number one concern is terrorism/political tension (56% are concerned), the second biggest concern (43%) is income inequality. There is a strong feeling amongst Generation Y (Millennials) that they are being left behind in this era of flat wages growth and massive home and living cost increases. Our recent ABS income and wealth analysis shows that Gen Y as a whole have 7% of Australia’s private wealth while they are more than twice this (15%) of the population while the older Boomers have an economic share three times that of their population share. There is a growing series of forecasts indicating that this may well be the first generation since the Great Depression which will end up behind their parents economically.

Big challenges but are they too big…

This study shows that Millennials, particularly in the developed world feel somewhat disempowered with a sense of high responsibility yet low influence to shape the challenges of the environment, social equality and direction of the country. They are key contributors to society and believe that working within the system rather than radically fighting against it in a revolutionary approach is the best way forward.

Moving on…but to full time roles

Almost 1 in 2 (48%) expect to leave their current role within 2 years while less than 1 in 3 (31%) plan on still being there in 5 years. While the gig economy sounds exciting, almost three times as many (70%) would prefer full time work than a freelance work life (25%). Yet the challenge for Australian Gen Y’s is that while unemployment is still quite low (5.7%), the workforce is trending away from full time roles. In the last year, the Australian economy has added 130,000 part time roles but lost 40,000 full time roles.

The dot com kids see the downside of tech

Millennials are more negative than positive when it comes to technology particularly regarding the impacts it is having in the workforce. While it aids productivity, economic growth and flexibility, the majority of this generation believe that it will force them to retrain (51%) and that it is making the workplace more impersonal and less human (53%).

But they are warm towards Gen Z

The new next generation (Gen Z, born since 1995) is well regarded by Gen Y with most Y’s (53%) believing that the next generation will positively transform the workplace. They also believe that Gen Z are well equipped and “futureproofed” in the workplace because of their creativity, flexibility and engaging leadership style.


Generation Z defined; The 5 characteristics of today's students

Friday, September 09, 2016

For today’s students, growing up with the emerging technologies at their fingertips has blurred the lines of work and social, of study and entertainment, of private and public. They now live in an open book environment – just a few clicks away from any information. They connect in a border less world across countries and cultures, and they communicate in a post-literate community where texts and tweets are brief, and where visuals and videos get the most cut-through.

At McCrindle, we are regularly engaged by a variety of organisations to assist with understanding who Generation Z is, what context they are being shaped in the traits that define them. Before we can engage this generation, we first need to understand them.

So how can we understand the emerging generations and their learning habits? Well, based on our research, here are five characteristics of today’s students:


Traditionally, learning took place in the classroom and the practice and application through homework. However, in the 21st Century, content can now be accessed through technology anywhere, and often in very visual and engaging forms. Thus we have the flipping of education where the learning takes place outside the classroom, but the essential engagement and practice is still conducted at school, by the all-important facilitator, rather than the teacher.


Not only through technology do today’s students interact, but they are mobile in terms of the jobs they will have and the homes they will live in. It is therefore important to think about how you can equip this generation with not just content but resilience in a changing world.


Today's generation of students are truly global, and are the most likely generation to work in multiple countries. They’re the most globally connected and influenced generation in history and are not limited to the local, but are global as never before.


We've called the emerging generation, Gen Alpha, but we also call them Generation Glass, because it is not just pen and paper, but iPads and screens on which they will learn, which are designed to not just display the written but the visual. While today’s students need literacy they also need digital skills to thrive in this changing world.


In an era of information overload, messages have increasingly become image-based and signs, logos and brands communicate across the language barriers with colour and picture rather than with words and phrases. Communicating symbols and pictures with stories isn’t an entirely new concept. Most ancient forms of communication such as indigenous rock art, reinforces the notion that it is pictures not words that tell the story. Visuals are also the way in which the brain processes information best. It can retain visual symbols and images rather than just written content. Our analysis of learning styles has shown the dominance in the visual and hands on learning styles, above auditory delivery form, which has traditionally dominated the classroom.

To find out more about Generation Z, visit our site and if we can assist with any presentations on the topic of the emerging generations, please feel free to get in touch.

About Ashley McKenzie - Team Leader of Communications at McCrindle

Ashley McKenzie is a social researcher, trends analyst and Team Leader of Communications at the internationally recognised McCrindle. As a trends analyst she understands the need for organisations to communicate with the emerging generations to effectively engage and motivate them. 

From her experience in managing media relations, social media platforms, content creation and event management, Ashley is well positioned to advise how to achieve cut through in these message-saturated times. 

Her expertise is in training and equipping leaders and teams on how to communicate across generational barriers.


Welcome to our blog...

We have a passion for research that tells a story, that can be presented visually, that brings about change and improves organisations. And we hope these resources help you know the times.

Our Social Media Sites

Facebook | McCrindle Research Social Media YouTube | McCrindle Research Social Media Twitter | McCrindle Research Social Media Flickr | McCrindle Research Social Media Pinterest | McCrindle Research Social Media Google Plus | McCrindle Research Social Media LinkedIn | McCrindle Research Social Media Mark McCrindle Slideshare

Last 150 Articles


event growth of sydney South Australia housing affordability entertainment resilience professional speaker census 2016 food bank Jura Australia world youth day media activity TED talk emerging technologies What is food insecurity? goals gender Sydney keynote speaker high density living households social lives speakers builders case study New South Wales Australian communities wealth Gen X WA Sydney global speakers pack keynote speaker marriages vegemite Christmas season university degree Western Australia entrepreneurial product Generation X growing population government engagement interactive giving survey design investment online shopping Duchess of Cambridge James Ward annual income DIY unaffordable rental stress royal family cloudy days Northern Beaches Social Trend social media moreton bay geomapping workplace culture speajer mentor paying to work teach presentations infographics public speaker christmas trend tuesday jobs report car renter of the future teachers millionth business the hills "know the times" brands baby name trends gig wealth inequality woolworths ACT australian communities forum house prices society Mount Annan-Currant Hill rule keeper omnibus gen alpha trends of 2017 SMART names educhat World Water Day Adelaide charity community engagement changing face of sydney Hornsby Shire Council Tuesday Trend FOMO environmental scanning professional holiday faux-ciliser group session Australian Population environment tableau national crime rates tattoos SRE australian social research Geoff Brailey infographic megatrends sydneysiders friends 23 million meetings Myth presentation innovative ashley mckenzie stats average sydneysider January 26th baby names report professional development low density office Sydney’s south west internship Wellington ease of travel seasons 10 years live the dream home ownership Gen Y Australian Bureau of Statistics intern curiosity clothing tertiary education the great screenage summer 1980 2016 census results work mates future proof Skilling daily commute hunger manly jobs of the future Performance Sentiment Index IT Specialists rain earning monarchy global financial crisis Australian Families australian community trends report rise of local real ACF17 travelling Cobbitty-Leppington local community bureau dreaming hobart train award brand experience chairty anzac holidays social enquiry VET conference presentation church area dare to dream contiki Res Vis donate digital optus my business awards 24 million SMSF royal influence australian communities trends report Financial Planning Association local communities demographic transformations divorce rate greatness crows nest vegetarian forecast challenge future-proof families communications the lucky country 2020 home financial property market ageing cica choice workers social commentary retirement mateship Business analysis hopes Mark McCrindle in the media purpose consumerism earnings NBRS wealth distribution waverton resource wealth and income professional services poor apartment ageing population tea hills shire demographics bondi Northern Territory responsive thought leadership economic lifestyle wolloomooloo 2013 Jura Coffee toys office opening NT media commentary Merry Christmas showreel public transport women life Australian Communities Trends dreams politics commute lalor park faith 40 million 2016 aged care financial independence domestic priorities leadership Sydney Hills Business Chamber generations mccrindle tea training supply and demand Work place Scouts village collaboration going out australian Sydney population baby boomers eliane micro apartments baby name predictions newspaper apartments not for profit educated offenders Aussies VET sector weather affordability pharmacy winter blues Research Director internships emerging trends list middle class Queensland: QLD wages focus groups Charlotte authenticity ferry house in depth interviews mobile study parents sydney metro mortgage communicate future of shopping census data national wealth baby names australia report participants easy rider community event trend sector wide study younger generations workplace princess charlotte TDE increasing densification owning a home spirituality easter care support parenting wealth and income distribution mccrindle research public speaking ideas stay home Hills Shire Council careers young people #censusfail new york times wedding learn census data visualisation wellbeing belief financial dreams Crime Rates youth unemployment moderators guide education research education future demography video faux-cilise analysis religion ethnography know the times unemployment infographic wall Kiwi panel work transport gold coast trends townhouses ACF 2016 business performance FPA The Daily Edition school satisfaction optimistic workshop financial fears experience generation capital city student mccrindle university Aussie urban living DESTEL students employment generation Z in the media demographic trends story emerging generations criminal brand royal future of education population map property price public holiday goal marriage learning styles organisations who is generation z media Financial Planning Week CPI education future report skills quote trends analyst Australian community trends social issues gen z define etiquette earn financial future fears Northern Beaches Christian School storytelling australians staying home more food insecurity states marrickville coffee lovers twentyseventeen wage social life Christmas lunch communities housing trends local happiness potts point average aussie household tv Royals shopping Lower Hunter Region work from home futurist city healthy future cancelling event relevant selfie Australians social research snapshot socialites home owner TEDx salary menai growth staying in financial planning facts social impact urban living index conference speaker Research Executive bus insights residents narcissism australia eliane miles school students long weekend leader social commentator REIV National Conference alpha faux-cilising national private wealth EFF cold media release schools entrepreneur events the average aussie renting young australians new office rich cost shbc Netflix Territory google NFP event data analyst sydneycity rent cost of living commuters grandparents cash fresh social employmee CBD screenage research report christian organisational culture pharmacies leadership workshop the changing face of volunteering post rationalism consumer communication Australian Dream urban conferences proactive demographic SA NSW volunteers keynote overcast marketing high density blaxland census results mccrinlde cars sentiments focus group father's day the hills shire Australia Day sunny days sector Kirsten Brewer christianity New Zealand sun energy social change social analyst sustainable visual collaborative repayments learning budget divorce Education Future Forum Willowdale tuesday ACT Report mover and shaker child care perth Caregiver research dream 1968 innovation money mining boom volunteering data royal baby housing growth social researcher nfp cultural diveristy 24,000,000 forecasting meals medicine teleworking motivate McCridle house price Elderslie-Harrington park HSC 2017 winter shopper's pick Financial Planning Association of Australia Australian Census survey teaching socialising TAS coffee aged care puzzle Canberra February 16 kate middleton prince george aussie culture Lower Hunter research pack millenials statistics Real Estate Institute of Victoria 1994 hello fresh sydney speaker affordable Vocational education land of the middle class shopping centre Real Estate engage acf15 donation cultural diversity non profit hornsby Australia Day 2017 crime weekly earnings volunteer housing norwest New Zeland ultimo tips sector wide social trends Melbourne JOMO urban taskforce baby Queensland publication generation alpha water future of work high density apartments Australian Trends Births employmer Do It Yourself suburbs men research services research on coffee entrepreneurs of today charities sydney event qualitative research impact work-life celebration house price rise neutral bay Maxim Accounting debate career Andrew Duffin follow schools students future victoria Bathburst 2015 2012 Christchurch market research McCrindle Speakers investor property brisbane the australian dream graphs education cartodb education sector PSI mother's day program couple Word Up VIC baby boom capital cities news Wodonga grave decision recap group finance results high school staff ACF research visualisation economy NEETs personal growth Population Clock Love data buildings sydneysider darwin insight social researchers micro deloitte English workforce mythbusting ipswich Australian Home Australian demographics cooking baby names future proofing housing market school millennials not for profit research screenagers researcher employers society trends conference population growth language food internet friendship visualisation daily telegraph year 7 ABS community poker master online rising house prices thrive baby name Assistant Store Manager learner plans not-for-profit mccrindle in the media balance travel cancel plans Mark McCrindle sydney hills Wagga Wagga award winner 2016 census australian real estate optus office space world Channel Seven change population milestone population global generations breakfast Deaths personalities GPO shifts logan gig economy System's Architect living litter culture hills children NBRS Architecture trades commuting research data Australia street safe Tasmania REIV Conference google for education casual click Generation Y customer Macquarie University slideshare generational trends year 12 suburban living youth sports social analysis The ABC of XYZ spend Channel 7 forum networking ACF2017 trends of 2016 suburb technology Australian schools business index Hunter Valley Northern beaches Event sunburnt country speaker pyrmont Valentine’s Day culturally diverse income debt professional presenters relational cancelling plans 1975 equip census fail Tuesday Trends huffington post ashley fell social shifts TED dessert average Australian mythbusters investing small business Engineering Manager family state Christmas presents identity 2014 outsourcing typical australian teacher demographer